Friday, 20 November 2009

The Curve of Memory

Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984)

Today is his 25th Death Anniversary

He was the man and the poet that captivated my imagination all my youth. His poetry casted a spell and showed me the path in utter serenity of love for humanity. Faiz not only raised Urdu poetry to new heights of perception and eloquence but also filled it with the sensibilities of human touch. As it is said there is no final view of things in Faiz; he is supremely aware of man’s vulnerability and yet he believes in the possibility of happiness.


Wearing necklaces of the hangman’s noose
The singers kept on singing
Tinkling the ankle-bells of their fetters
The dancers merrily jigged their dance.
We in neither one group, nor the other
Stood by the roadside
Watching enviously
And wept silent tears.
On returning home
The erstwhile red flowers
Had turned deathly pale
And where there was once a heart
Now there was only pain.
Round our necks hallucinations of a noose
And on our feet the dance of chains.
Then one day came Love
And like the others haltered and enchained
Dragged us into the same caravan

Translated by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Loneliness and two great Poets

FAIZ AHMED FAIZ (1911-1984)


There is someone at the door, dear heart!
Nay, there is none
Or might be a wanderer
He will go hence, plodding his weary way.
Night is done
And evaporates in thin air the starry mist.
In palaces quiver the sleeping lamps
Hanging by their chains of gold.
The solitary paths are sunk in despair
And the unfriendly dust
Has obliterated the foot prints
Fill the cups and drink to the lees
The bitter wine of loneliness.
Lock up your slumbers less doors, dear heart!
For, now no one will ever ever come here.

The above poem translated by Daud Kamal and is taken from his book “Selected Poems of Faiz in English”. On 20th November 2009 is Faiz’s 25th Death Anniversary.

ROBERT FROST (1874-1963)

Now Close the Windows

Now close the windows and hush all the fields:
If the trees must, let them silently toss;
No bird is singing now, and if there is,
Be it my loss.

It will be long ere the marshes resume,
It will be long ere the earliest bird:
So close the windows and not hear the wind,
But see all wind-stirred.

Monday, 16 November 2009

The Whisper of Evening Wind

A Poem

The crimson of the morning sun
Melts in the gold by the day
Me immersed in my wayward thoughts
You in your toiling day

Dawn to dusk
We wither and wither and sway
Counting the tasks
Beyond the grasps far and away

The gold of the dissolving day
Turning crimson to vanishing nay
Evening wind whispering slowly
Thou have lost another day